Thursday, 15 January 2015

What it's like to have four children - Part 2: Why It's Brilliant

We used to have neighbours next door with three girls, who I think were all in primary school at the time. Their front door was behind our back garden fence, so it was easy to hear them coming and going if we were out that way.

They had a nanny that did the school pick-up, and I often heard her arriving home with them. One time, as she opened the front door and did her usual ushering of them inside, I heard her say this:

'Right girls, shoes off and bags in the kitchen!'

I just loved this line! It made me think of a little row of shoes diligently left by the door and three school bags dumped on the kitchen counter, ready to be rid of lunch boxes and rummaged through for important newsletters from school. I loved the idea of needing rituals and organisation like this in a big household.

I wanted this. I wanted to need instructions and routines for a bunch of kids. I wanted the row of shoes by the door and school bags in the kitchen. Mine aren't at school yet but I can't wait to use that line when I get them home after a long day at school. I'm sure by then we'll have a big family kitchen, and I'll make them an after-school snack that they can eat at the kitchen bench while I go through their bags, asking them about their days. They’ll probably just grunt at me or ask to watch TV, but for now, I’ll have the fantasy.

And according to my calculations, all four of them should be in the same primary school for at least a year or two. Multiple school pick-up!!

I spend a lot of time on here writing about how hard it is being a mum to four young kids, but that doesn't meant I don't love what I have. When we were pregnant for the third time, I was so excited about us becoming a bigger family. I wanted the chaos and noise that comes with having lots of children in the house. I wanted to hear laughter and chatter coming from different rooms. I wanted all those little excited faces on Christmas Eve, waking up to find their presents on Christmas day.

All those wants. And now my dreams have come true. While four kids is a lot of work, it's still brilliant. And yet, the best is still to come.

I can't wait to have family meetings. And big family organisation planners up around the house. I want notice boards with loads of letters and artwork from school. I want to say things like 'Come on, everybody!' or ‘Let’s put it to the vote'.

When we play games, we have the perfect division for teams. No one is left-out. Between us, Husband and I have a hand to hold each child’s hand. 

My Mother’s Days are going to ROCK.

I love that we have made these little people, who are forming amazing relationships with each other, ones that are so much deeper than we’ll ever know. Hopefully they’re relationships they’ll have for the rest of their lives. When Mr B and Miss P are in sync (i.e. not screaming at each other), they are amazing together. This morning she wanted to dress in shorts and a t-shirt, just to be like him. And she likes to take one of his teddies to kindy.

There are so many good things coming to me. Right now, we're in the dependence years, where it is mostly hard work and maintenance. This morning I had wiped three dirty bottoms before 6.15am.

These are the years where we live for the cuddles from soft, chubby arms and the giggles around the house melt our hearts. They’re tough years but they’re also precious, because they go by so fast. The last thing I’m going to do is wish them away. No, instead I’ll just keep on counting my lucky stars.


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